According to a financial inclusion report by Efina, only 2% of adults in Nigeria are insured, meaning millions of Nigerians are not managing their risks despite the attendant issues that are likely to arise if things don't go as planned.
Hedging your risk as a business person is important to your business's sustainability. MyCover.ai, one of our sponsors for The Fintech Summit, is in the business of making access to insurance products easy through its offerings.
While preparing for the Summit, we had a chat with the Co-founder of MyCover.ai, where he discussed what they do at MyCover.ai and his expectations for The Fintech Summit.
Let's meet you - what's your name, and what do you do at Mycover.ai?
My name is Adebowale Banjo, and I am the Co-founder and CEO of MyCover.ai. Primarily, I'm responsible for envisioning the business's day-to-day operations for growth and providing direction for everyone.
Can we know more about MyCover.ai and its offerings?
MyCover.ai is an insurtech platform. Primarily we are focused on building Africa's digital insurance infrastructure. When you look at the challenges that plague the insurance sector, not just in Nigeria but across the continent, you can place them in three main buckets. So there is underwriting, product development and then distribution, which speaks majorly to access to these products. Then there's the claims management side of things.
We are providing the infrastructure that simplifies underwriting and product design and provides data to the underwriter to make better decisions and create better products that help them. Our insurance API makes it easy for people, that is, insurance companies, in this case, to distribute their products faster and cheaper and make them more accessible to the end user.
The third leg is to streamline the claims process, eliminate fraud, reduce turnaround time and deliver good experiences to customers. So, that's what we do with our API, and that's why we say we are building the digital insurance structure for the continent. This infrastructure is expected to provide service across these three main points and make it easy for insurance penetration to grow across the continent.
You should see us more as that engine that's here to power the growth of insurance across the continent. We also have a B2B platform focused on small businesses, startups, and medium-sized businesses.
The platform provides a one-stop shop for businesses when it comes to insurance needs, in terms of buying health insurance for staff, insuring laptops and devices, or creating travel insurance or insuring assets for those in the logistics industry and their operations as well.
So, those are the two offers that we have. One is on the API side of things, where we are disrupting the entire infrastructure that powers insurance. The other is a B2B platform where businesses can insure themselves, their staff, and their operations. That platform is called myCovergenius.com. Interestingly, we are still in beta, and we are launching it before the event.
We would also be giving specific discounts to business owners who attend The Fintech so that they can test the platform and enjoy those benefits.
To shed more light on what our API currently does in terms of distribution. We do what you call embedded insurance just like you have embedded finance. We are making it possible for almost anybody to be able to offer insurance products to their audience.
So, imagine that most of the fintech companies today are able to leverage our API to offer insurance to their audience. People who do remittances can also give their customers an opportunity to buy insurance for their people back home or themselves using our API. We are looking at e-commerce platforms, being able to offer gadget insurance to their customers leveraging our API. So it's embedded insurance, and it's making insurance accessible to everyone across the continent.
What makes you excited about The Fintech Summit?
We're excited because it's an opportunity to meet many players in the fintech space that we can collaborate with so that they can then have embedded insurance on their platforms. They can offer this to their customers. They already have traction as many customers use their platforms every day, and the opportunity that we would offer insurance as a service to those customers is appealing to us.
Secondly, we are going to be part of the conversation actively. The conversation around what has worked so far regarding fintech in Nigeria and Africa and what the next frontier is in terms of where we go from here and how we get there. A lot has been done in terms of payments; cross-border payments are growing every day, and local payments are doing well, but where do we sit in terms of credit? While there are a lot of BNPL solutions and all of that, What is the cost of funds? Those are the conversations I believe will be had at this conference. Still, primarily it's an opportunity for us to engage the key players in the fintech space and to expose to them what you consider a great opportunity, not just for them and us but for the continent as a whole.
What pain points do you think need to be addressed in Africa's fintech sector?
I think the first one would be insurance. So people are building for payments, whether it's local payments, cross-border payments, or agency banking.
We are working on payments, and we have made some progress with that. We're doing now, buy now, pay later, but there's not so much that's been done with insurance.
That's why it's a great opportunity for us as a company to be able to not just make insurance accessible to people through our B2B platform but to collaborate with fintech companies to ensure that the reach is wider than even what we can achieve on our own. So, the role of insurance in the growth of fintech across the continent needs to be addressed. So you have agents who have POS that is not insured, agents who don't have life or health insurance. Omnibiz and players like them are making access to commodities easy for traders, but those traders need shopping insurance. If there's a fire in their markets, they are exposed, and all the goods they've spent money buying are gone. So, there's a lot of exposure to risk, particularly in business in Nigeria. To do business actively without protecting your risk is not a wise decision.
Two, I talked about the growth of BNPL asset financing companies. But there's still a challenge with the cost of funds. So, we need to have that conversation on how to make access to credits cheaper for people, and then there's also the infrastructure that backs that right; there's a credit bureau but no credit ratings. Then when you talk about banking the unbank, I think that to a large extent, with the exception of a few players who have really dug deep, a lot of times, people pay lip service to it. You go to some places, and you will find that, without a doubt, the penetration is high, but there are still places where a lot more can be done. So banking the unbanked or the underbanked is another conversation to hear as well.
What impact will you be expecting following conversations that will be held at The Fintech Summit?
I think when you look at the natural progression of things like this, firstly, you have an opportunity to be put in a room with leaders in their respective fields, all under the fintech umbrella. You will hear them talk about what they've been able to do, the challenges they face, and the next steps in terms of what they intend to do and the next problems they are looking to solve. Those conversations are usually stimulating, and I expect that they will produce a road map.
Also, it depends on what Techpoint Africa decides to do after the events, whether you want to articulate all of those thoughts into a roadmap for the future of fintech.
Secondly, I see a lot of collaboration between the different players; between tech companies, insurtech companies and fintech companies. The third thing I see is a continued conversation with the regulators.
This is because usually when you look at problems and your life problems and your profer solutions to them, you then realize that there are so many elements to making it work and one key pillar in that is the government.
So I expect that continuous engagement of the government would happen. These conversations simulate a clear pathway to the next few milestones for fintech in the country and on the continent.
MyCover.ai will be exhibiting at the fintech summit, and they are offering business owners that attend the Summit a major discount to use their B2B platform, MyCoverGenius.
Register to attend the Summit at The Fintech Summit website to access this opportunity.